Sunday, January 29, 2012

Claire Four Month Update

Another month has passed and it's time to share some more pictures of Claire.  Enjoy!

Claire Four Month Update Pictures!

Monday, January 16, 2012

McAfee Peak Snowshoe

With the winter weather still good, Dan and I went on another winter outing.  This time we selected McAfee Peak in the Independence Mountains of Northern Nevada.  The drive down was a little long and extended by our choice to use Maggie Summit and NV-226 to reach the peak.  After leaving Boise at 5am, it was after 9am before we were hiking.  We were amazed at how little snow there was at the 7800' trailhead!

The route to the peak follows a 4x4 road for awhile before crossing a mix of open and forested terrain to reach the summit ridge.  The forested terrain was bouldery with a thin layer of snow which made things a little treacherous.  It was the annoying "too much snow for boots, too little for snowshoeing" problem - I preferred snowshoes despite hearing them scraping rock much of the time.  Eventually we got above the rocks and into deeper snow near the summit ridge.  Once higher, the wind picked up and it started to get a little chilly.  The summit ridge was even windier but with intermittent patches of bare rock and soft snow.  We eventually got annoyed crossing rock and ditched the snowshoes, instead just hiking the last few hundred vertical feet to the summit.

The peak has great 360° views of a huge part of northern Nevada.  Oh, and lots of brown terrain!  Other than the steady wind at the summit, it was a perfect winter day.  We relaxed for a bit (out of the wind), refueled, signed the register, and identified the nearby peaks.  The descent was much easier and proceeded without issue.  We were back to the vehicle in just over 6 hours having climbed a 10000' peak in January.  Not bad!

On the way out we drove from Jack Creek Summit directly to NV-225 which got us home in 3 hours.  This route was much faster but one that is rarely possible in mid-January!

McAfee Peak Pictures!
GPS Track
Dan's Trip Report

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Williams Peak Winter Hike

With the winter snowpack in Idaho being pathetic, Dan and I decided to ascend a big peak that is normally inaccessible in mid-winter.  We chose Williams Peak in the Lost River Range, a peak with good vehicle access and a low-angle canyon approach.  We left Boise just after 5am and were hiking just after 9am.

The ascent was very straightforward and the route up the canyon was much less difficult than we remembered from our last visit (climbing Mount Church and Donaldson Peak) in 2003.  The canyon is a little bit brushy and rocky but almost always offers a decent route choice.  The snow was not very deep in most places and we didn't even put on snowshoes until we reached 9000'.  From there the snowshoes were really only helpful until we reached the summit ridge at 10000'.  The final push to the summit was windier but on easy talus which was mostly blown clean of snow.  Temperatures were likely in the low 30s and aside from the wind, it was quite pleasant!

The summit views were a little disappointing due to the clouds shrouding all of the nearby big peaks.  However we were thankful that visibility was never a problem on our ascent.  We retraced our route on descent and made it back to the vehicle before 4pm.  On the way through Arco we stopped at the Deli Sandwich Shop which was pretty decent.  Another dining option discovered! 

Williams Peak Winter Hike Pictures!
GPS Track
Dan's Trip Report

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Claire New Years Update

Our New Years was pretty uneventful.  On Friday the 30th we applied for Claire's passport which is needed if we ever take her to Canada.  Kind of silly but it did make for a funny photo!  On New Years Eve I hiked with 18 (20?) others to Cervidae Peak just outside of Boise.  The weather was very mild (for December), the moon and stars were out, and there was no snow so it was quite enjoyable!  The past two years I skipped due to snowstorms and subzero temperatures so it was definitely a nice change.

The rest of the weekend was dominated by relaxation, football watching, and decoration-taking-downing.  Also, some more pictures of Claire are below!

Claire New Years Update!